Cut these five foods to curb cravings


Tips from a sport dietitian that can help you shed pounds while training for The Vancouver Sun Run

Nutritionist Cristina Sutter with some healthy snacks.

Nutritionist Cristina Sutter with some healthy snacks.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG

More on This Story


So you’ve increased your running time, you’re feeling great, with more energy, but those few extra pounds you’d hoped would melt away are sticking around. The reason may be diet.

But it can be difficult to stick to a healthy diet plan when all day you are dreaming of doughnuts.

The good news is that nutritionists say you can curb those cravings by eliminating certain foods. So The Sun asked Cristina Sutter, a private practice sport dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic, for her Top 5 foods to help runners curb cravings and shed a few pounds while training.

For more than a decade, Sutter has worked with many top athletes, including Canucks players and 2010 Olympians, but she also helps those just starting out in a sport.

Now she’s partnered with The Vancouver Sun Run to offer insight into healthy eating. She said one of the most common problems she sees is that clients have no time for food preparation. Yet grabbing a granola bar or muffin on the run or eating out too often in restaurants can increase carb cravings and addiction to sugar.

“People don’t realize how much time we need to dedicate to our food,” she said, adding that the first step is to make time to shop ahead for the week, filling your basket with whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies, and lean protein. It’s also important to schedule time in your day to prepare healthy meals.

Cut these five foods to avoid cravings

1. White flour, also goes by enriched flour, wheat flour or unbleached flour. White flour is the starchy remains of the wheat grain after the germ and bran have been removed. It is missing important nutrients like fibre, protein, iron, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins that optimize your energy levels. Whether you buy your bread from Cobbs Bakery or Tim Hortons, most commercial baked goods are made exclusively with this dough and they will keep you craving carbs all day long. Choose breads made from sprouted grain or whole wheat flour including the germ to boost your nutrition and energy.

2. Granola bars. It is a well-kept secret that granola bars are cookies in disguise and many of them are loaded with five different types of highly processed, refined sugars that add fuel to our sugar addiction. Make your own snack of fruit and almonds for lasting energy.

3. Flavoured mochas and lattes. These sugar- and syrup-laden caffeinated drinks lead to an afternoon crash and burn that will zap your natural energy and have you craving your next sugar high. If you choose to drink coffee, keep it simple — or better yet, enjoy a tea.

4. White rice. If you fill your plate with a mountain of white rice, you are getting a massive carb load that will be burned up faster than kindling can fuel a fire. Choose brown rice, wild rice or quinoa for a nutritious and balanced grain. If you have your heart set on white rice, go for the converted or parboiled options because it has been exposed to high pressure that forced more fibre, vitamins and protein into the rice, giving it a slower sugar release in the body.

5. Flavoured chips and crackers. Whether you go for Cheetos, Doritos or Crispy Minis, many flavoured chips contain MSG, maltodextrin, salt and other addictive flavourings that leave us feeling like we can’t put them down. For a salty snack, stick to chips and crackers that are plain or original flavour.

Anyone who would like to know more about Sutter, or where to get nutrition advice can visit her website.

Nutritionist Cristina Sutter with some healthy snacks.

Nutritionist Cristina Sutter with some healthy snacks.

Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG

We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
Your voice